Measles is a highly contagious disease, caused by a virus called paramyxo. This disease mostly affects children but occasionally they do strike adults. Measles is mainly a respiratory infection.
Vaccination is the only prevention against measles. The child should be vaccinated around the first year. This vaccine is often combined with two other vaccines of rubella and mumps.
It should be noted that once a person is inflicted with measles, he/she develops immunity to this disease for life.
Is Measles contagious?
Measles is highly contagious. The virus spreads through the air by sneezing. Thus, a non-immune person could be infected simply by breathing in the infected air.
Measles is contagious for about four days before the rash appears and about five days later. Therefore parents, we must be vigilant and the child with measles must be immediately isolated from other family members.
Measles incubation period:
People inflicted with measles virus shows no signs of illness for about first ten days. This is the incubation period of measles virus. After this stage, high fever appears, and is often accompanied by signs like cough, runny nose and red eyes. Tiny red spots appear on the face and gradually spread on to other parts of the body. The appearance of red spots is accompanied by itching and vomiting in a few cases.
Measles is caused by a virus and is easily transmitted in the early stages through droplets of moisture discharged through coughs and sneezing by the patient. The virus attacks people with weak immunity which could result from malnutrition, vitamin A deficiency, unhygienic living conditions and bad food habits.
Symptoms of measles:
The first symptom of measles may appear in seven to fourteen days after virus infection. The rashes may be of small round spots on the skin, which may be of pink color initially and they grow to dark red in color as times passes. These rashes initially appear on the sides of the face and the neck, gradually spreading all over the body.
Other allied symptoms of measles include high fever during this period, which may rise to 104 degrees in acute cases, running nose, sore throat, continuous dry cough, redness and watering of the eyes, loss of appetite and
diarrhea or vomiting and delirium in severe cases.
Steps to follow for treatment and prevention of measles
If the characteristic signs of measles occur in your child, the first thing to do is see your doctor. Consulting a physician helps to alleviate symptoms of the disease and to avoid potential complications.
Measles is a disease that the body will fight on its own and it will be cured in some time. There are no drugs that can fight the virus, so the only useful treatments are those that help relieve symptoms. But doctors generally prescribe medicines to cure sore throat or cough, antibiotics to curb bacterial infection, analgesics to reduce fever and Vitamin A supplements to reduce the risk of brain infection.
Failure to take preventive measures can result in serious complications like dehydration, respiratory infections (like pneumonia), ear infection and even encephalitis in worst cases.
Bed rest: Rest is highly recommended to the patient with measles. The child must then drink plenty of water and eat properly.
Remedies for Measles
The following are effective natural cure for measles:
Liquorice: Liquorice is a very effective natural cure for measles. Powder liquorice root and add honey to this powder, take half a teaspoon of each daily for better results
Tamarind seeds and turmeric: Tamarind seeds and turmeric are very effective natural cure for measles. Powder tamarind seeds, mix equal portion of the tamarind seeds powder with turmeric powder , this mix should be given in the doses of 350gm to 425gm, three times, daily to the person suffering from measles.
Margosa leaves: Margosa leaves contain antiviral and antiseptic properties, which are effective in treating measles. Margosa leaves can be added to hot bathing water ,to relieve the patient of itching , that comes with the rash. Patient should be immersed in the water for at least 20minutes, for better results.
Garlic: Garlic also can be an effective natural cure for measles. Powder the cloves of garlic and mix with honey and this can be had daily for better results.
Lemon juice: Lemon juice is also a very effective natural cure for measles. Take about 15-25ml of lemon juice, mixed with water can be an effective cure for measles.
Bitter gourd leaves and turmeric root: Powder turmeric root and mix with honey and add the juice of bitter gourd leaves. This is a very effective natural cure for measles.
Coconut water and flesh: Coconut water has nutrients and natural sugar , which help in cleansing the body of toxic elements , which makes it a very effective drink. Coconut flesh is rich in anti-oxidants and a liberal intake of coconut water helps in speedy recovery from measles.
Indian gooseberry (Amla): Indian gooseberry powder mixed with water is very effective in getting rid of itching and burning sensation during measles. Amla powder mixed with water can also be used to wash the body.
Barley: Barley water is a very effective natural cure to treat the coughs, in measles. The patient should drink barley water flavored with a few drops of sweetened almond oil as frequently as possible.
Calendula flowers: Calendula flowers, contains essential minerals, which help in speeding the healing process of measles. Boil three cups of water and add one tablespoon of the powdered flower. Drain and drink twice a day till the symptoms of measles exist. Peppermint oil and/or sugar can be added, to make it more effective and palatable.
Egg plant seeds: Egg plant seeds help in developing immunity against measles. The patient can be given about half to one gram of the seeds daily for three days, for better results.
Orange juice: Orange is an excellent natural cure for measles. As the patient will feel a loss of appetite and the lack of saliva in his tongue, often the patient does not feel thirsty or hungry. Orange juice makes good for this loss of appetite.
Butter: If measles is accompanied by fever, mix butter and sugar candy in equal quantity and lick 2 tsp. in the morning.
Precautions in handling a measles patient
- Measles patient must be kept in isolation, for the disease is infectious and should be given complete rest, which will facilitate speedy recovery.
- The patient can be given lots of warm water to drink, as this flushes the toxins out of the system. For better results, drink them in the mornings on empty stomach and in the evenings.
- Initially, the patient should be given juices of fruits like orange and lemon, as the person experiences loss of appetite, this would be sufficient.
- Gradually, the patient can start eating fruits and well balanced diet, which includes lots of green vegetables and fruits, to boost the immune system.
- Measles patient should be kept in well ventilated room.
- Avoid sunlight as measles damages eye tissues which results in water eyes. The room should have subdued light, so as to not further cause damage to the eyes.
- Avoid milk, milk products, as they may worsen the condition. If the child is heavily dependent on milk, limit the intake.
- Ensure that the room and the surroundings are clean and tidy